The matric production of Romeo and Juliet is a big deal for drama geek Yvette Vervey (Elani Dekker). If they can convince the school’s cricket hero, Marko Marais (Ruan Wessels), to play the lead, it’ll be a hit. But in between fielding all the day-to-day challenges and sometimes almost insurmountable problems at the sports-obsessed school, Yvette starts to wonder whether Marko might be her own personal Romeo.
Here are five things you should know about Jou Romeo:
1. It’s all about love
“The story revolves around love but both of the main characters who fall in love come from wildly different backgrounds,” director André Velts said. “When you fall in love, you can’t choose who you fall in love with.”
2. Love, love changes everything
Elani says her character changes throughout the story. “Initially, especially with the school’s budget for the arts getting cut, doing the play becomes a big obstacle. Experience has taught her not to judge people but to know what type of person is what type of person. Through the film, that bubble that she has created for everybody gets broken because people are not just one specific thing. People are a whole complete being on the inside.”
3. Love actually
The movie was filmed at Hoërskool Monument in Krugersdorp, and Ruan reveals that the most difficult scenes to film were in the romantic swimming pool encounter. “The night we jumped into the pool and kissed there – we filmed it at 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning, during the coldest cold front I think Krugersdorp has ever experienced. So we had to jump into the water and we had to stay there. And we had to kiss and stuff, and it was so cold. After we were done, we were blue from being so cold and the paramedics wrapped us in that foil paper!”
4. Shakespeare in love
Ruan admits that while he had read Romeo and Juliet in matric, it was not “really out of my own free will”. Elani says that in preparation for the role, she read several Shakespeare plays, but adds, “It’s difficult for me to read, it’s not something I would necessarily say is enjoyable to read. There are beautiful quotes but it’s difficult to follow.”
5. Call me, maybe
What is the question that heartthrob Ruan gets asked the most by fans? “What’s your cell number?”’
Watch Jou Romeo on Saturday 29 June at 20:00 on kykNET on channel 144. Not at home? Stream it on Dstv Now.